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Learn to speak databreach

Squiffy  28 October 2015 12:07:06 - Kasteel Turing

Learn to speak Databreach

The plain man's guide to the corporate language of Data Breaches.

1. "No encryption keys were compromised." - We don't encrypt any of our data.
2. "A small number of customar records may have been compromised." - They got the lot.
3. "As far as we can tell no financial data was accessed." - As I said earlier, they got the lot.
4. "We are working closely with security experts." - The same lot that failed to fix things last time are here again.
5. "We were the victims of a sophisticated attack." - A laptop and a freely available script downloaded from the internet was all it took.
6. "Our security staff were distracted by the DDoS attack on our website." - The admin that deals with security was on a day off.
7. "The responsibility to protect our customers data is our highest priority." - We don't have a CISO.
8. "We are offering all affected customers 12 months free credit monitoring." - We are not responsible for customer losses resulting from the breach.
9. "The data was held on a cluster of highly secure servers." - For scalability we replicate the data throughout our infrastructure.
10. "We are working with crimminal investigation authorities to determine the extent and source of the breach." - We haven't been charged with negligence .....  Yet.
11. "Any of our customers can contact our support staff 7 by 24 with any concerns." - The call center thhat handles our support calls have got the wait time down to 2 hours.
12. "We are undertaking a comprehensive review of our security procedures." - Somebody will get fired, we just don't know who, yet.
13. "We believe that a third-party may have been compromised to effect the breach." - Rest assured, we will find someone else to blame.
14. "We have increased spending on data security over the last year." - The press office has taken on a full time spin-doctor dedicated to handling data breaches.
15. "We have been striving to educate our customers on best security practices." - Someone has to make up for our incompetence.


    A Parable

    Squiffy  07 April 2015 17:22:57 - Eindhoven


    On television the other evening there was a debate on the origins of the universe and one of the participants had to ask the inevitable question. “Does the fact that the physical constants in the universe have the perfect values that allow life imply that the creation of the universe needed a guiding intelligent hand?” This question is grist for the mill of any competent pub philosopher, I always like to stir the pot with the following parable.

    The Intelligent Designer was sat at the desk in his study the other day, leaning back with his feet on the desk and sipping slowly from a long glass of Redbull and Archers. A self-satisfied smile adorned his face as he basked in the glory afforded by his latest creation, the “Banana Carry Box”, a yellow hinged plastic box in the shape of a banana that protected the enclosed banana from any bruising while being carried thus allowing the banana eater a sublime experience when consuming the fruit.

    His reverie was disturbed as his son walked in and demanded attention with a shrill “dad!” that cut through the atmosphere like a knife. “I have to do a project for the school science fair at the end of term and I don’t have any idea what to do, could you possibly help out with a well-designed suggestion”?

    “Well, my little designer, given your ADHD I don’t think that it would be good for you to attempt anything too complex, something simple can, if well executed, often give more impressive results than a more complex offering. Have you thought about doing something simple yet dramatic like creating a universe?”

    “Sure dad that sounds really cool, so tell me what do I have to do to make a universe?”

    “Well, it’s quite simple really, you start off with an unbounded chunk of pre-spacetime, you’ll find some of it in the garden shed in a tin underneath the box of strings. And while you’re about it don’t get any of it on your clothes, your mother has more than enough washing to do. Put down a sheet of plastic so that you don’t make a mess, place your pre-spacetime in the middle of the plastic then use your laptop to wirelessly set the physical constants for the lump of pre-spacetime. Then you just wait for a few Plank time units and lo and behold you have your own little universe. Although it is simple I think that the results are impressive enough to earn you good credits at your science fair.”

    “Gee dad, thanks, that sounds really neat.” With that the ID’s son withdrew to give it a try.

    So our intrepid creator sets off for the garden shed and soon returns clutching an old biscuit tin and he disappears off into his bedroom. Brimming with excitement he starts on the construction of his very first universe and – nothing happens.  Maybe he didn’t pick the right set of physical constants maybe on his first attempt he just managed to come up with a set of values that resulted in a universe that did absolutely nothing. After a whole afternoon spent fiddling with the combinations it dawned on him that his father has tricked him. His father has selected a project that will be good for his ADHD teaching him patience and perseverance. Our fledgling creator is rapidly becoming disenchanted with the great adventure of universe creation but he knows that he has to stick with it in spite of the fact that there is a new and as yet un-played  video game that is waiting for his undivided attention. “Intelligent Designer IV – the Cull of Beauty”, the very latest release from the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation only arrived this morning and is just crying out to be played.

    Our Intelligent Designer’s son, not being entirely devoid of creativity is struck by a smart idea. If he were to couple his IBox game controller up to his laptop he could sample the state of the game on his IBox at regular intervals and use the values sampled to generate pseudo-random sets of physical constants that he could then use to configure his universe attempts. It doesn.t take the lad long to hack the connections for his new universal generator and he is busy playing video games while myriad combinations of physical constants are being tried out on his science fair project. Well before the day of the science fair our ingenious young creator is ready with a stable and still evolving universe to offer up as his project for the science fair.

    Unfortunately the judging panel at the science fair are less than impressed by his project. Indeed, he overhears one of the judges complaining that “as the son of the designer of the banana carry box I would have hoped to see something a little more innovative!” Now, feeling thoroughly disenchanted with the whole endeavour  and rather disgusted at the low credit that he received for the project our intrepid creator packed his little universe up and sulked off from the fair.

    Still brooding as he was half way across the car park he dropped the universe on the ground and with one well-timed and well-aimed right foot sent it arcing through the air in the direction of the ditch at the edge of the car park. While it was sailing through the air he detected a burst of frequency modulated signals that were breaking through the background radiation. Applying some demodulation he could discern that it was some kind of audio-visual message containing some idiot asking “Does the ideal values of the physical constants in our universe reveal the hand of an intelligent designer?”.

    The existentialist analysis of the parable will, no doubt, conclude that any philosopher worth his salt would not be seen dead in any universe that did not have the ideal values for the physical constants. The more fashion conscious would retort that they would not be seen out in any universe that made their bums look bigger!


    The Cold Call

    Squiffy  27 November 2013 17:27:42 - Eindhoven

    The Cold Call

    A telephone conversation this afternoon.

    Caller:  Good afternoon may I speak to Mr. Redacted please?

    Mr. R.:  Mr. Redacted speaking, how may I help you?

    Caller:  I am calling from International Redacted Associates.

    Mr. R.:  I am sorry to cut you off there but I have never heard of your company.

    Caller:  The company is International Redacted Associates, we specialise in ..

    Mr. R.:  This is a cold sales call!

    Caller:  No, no sir not at all, this is an informational call.

    Mr. R.:  So I have requested information from your organisation?

    Caller:  No I don't believe so sir, but if I could just take a few moments of your time to inform you about our services.

    Mr. R.:  As this is a cold call I prefer if we work from my script rather than yours, now, could you describe the services that you provide in five words or less.

    Caller:  For a start ....

    Mr. R.:  If I could just point out that is three words gone, you only have two remaining.

    Caller:  Errrrrrrr ......

    Mr. R.:  It's ok I am not counting hesitations as a word so you still have two words to go.

    Caller:  Call Centres.

    Mr. R.:  Oh Dear, Oh Dear, Oh Dear! Well thank you so much for your informative call, not today thank you.

    Call Terminated.

    The Bald Conspiracy

    Squiffy  12 November 2013 15:15:21 - Kasteel Turing

    The Bald Conspiracy

    In a TV studio at an undisclosed location a heavily pixelated conspiracy researcher who we will call Arthur Redacted is facing a rather hairy de-bunker Dr. Archibald Skeptik. Arthur is there to promote his new book "Koncpirasist - J'accuse" the de-bunker has been brought in to provide some journalistic balance and in the hope that a physical confrontation will go viral and promote the TV station. The interview is being conducted by Armand Disinterest a VJ and amateur hair stylist

    Armand Disinterest:   Arthur or may I call you Art? Art you have a new book out in which you expose a major conspiracy being perpetrated by bald people to suppress the rigorous scientific work being done by conspiracy researchers such as yourself. Is that substantially correct?

    Arthur Redacted:   That is essentially correct Armand, or may I call you Arm? My research that is devoted to exposing the huge number of conspiracies that are being perpetrated on the public on a daily basis. I have discovered a disturbing underlying theme running through the so called "de-bunkers", people that seek to discredit our meticulous work in order to perpetuate and indeed extend the reach of the very conspiracies that myself and other selfless workers in this field are seeking to expose.

    Take the now universally accepted fact NASA faked the moon landings in the 1970s, despite an overwhelming body of scientific and anecdotal evidence that clearly demonstrates that the conspiracy existed and did in fact achieve it's aims we are still the subject of vitriolic attacks by these de-bunking lizards. I show in my book that these attacks are orchestrated by so-called bald people who claim to be sceptical thinkers. The number and organisation of these attacks show that there exists a deep conspiracy by these bald people to undermine our continuing efforts to inform and educate the public.

    In the case of the faked moon landings a normal person only has to look at the famous "fluttering flag" images that show the flag clearly fluttering in the wind caused by a door being opened on the set where the filming was taking place, this is clearly not possible on the moon where there is no atmosphere to support a breath of wind. Yet the Internet is littered with bald de-bunkers who just deny our rigorous analysis.

    Dr. Archibald Skeptik:   If I could just make a point here. The lack of an atmosphere on the moon coupled with the low gravity provides so little damping of movement of the flag that the initial torsional and lateral motions induced in the flag would cause it to flutter in exactly the modes shown in the NASA videos.

    Arthur Redacted:   Exactly, thank you Dr. Baldie for so clearly supporting the conjecture that it was faked. The reasons that you put forward are exactly why NASA chose to use the opening door method to produce the faked fluttering in the flag, because it so closely mimicked what would be seen on a body with low gravity and no atmosphere. I think that is game, set and match.

    Dr. Archibald Skeptik:   But.........But.........Arrrrgggggghhhhhhh! (sound of the good doctor tearing out his own hair!)

    Arthur Redacted:   And I think that we also have here on this show conclusive proof of the existence of the "Bald Conspiracy".

    Balls to Pauli

    Squiffy  10 November 2013 17:55:47 - Kasteel Turing
    Balls to Pauli


    Balls to Heisenberg

    Squiffy  06 November 2013 13:34:22 - Kasteel Turing
    Balls to Heisenberg


    Balls to Tesla

    Squiffy  05 November 2013 10:20:05 - Eindhoven
    Balls to Tesla



    Squiffy  02 November 2013 16:47:09 - Eindhoven

    Redundant Array of Memory Sticks (RAMS)

    For several years we here at HMNL Research have been experimenting with RAMS technology. Early experimentation resulted in the "Terascale Array" seen below.

    Terascale Array

    The availability of higher density memory sticks and improved architecture and engineering allowed us to progress to the "Petascale Array".

    Petascale Array

    and then the "Exascale Array" seen here.

    Exascale Array

    The exascale array proved to be enormously useful when our cloud storage provider went Nirvarnix on us. We were able to get our data quickly out of the cloud.

    Our largest scale experiments culminated in the handy and portable "Zettascale Array".

    Zettascale Array

    Some of our storage scientists have been examining photographs of the Google Barge and come to some startling conclusions.

    Yachascale Array

    Our scientists have speculated that what we are seeing here are the components of a "Yachtascale Cluster" based on RAMS technology. Each barge is clearly carrying a number of Zettascale Arrays organised in a high density hyper-array. They believe that when sufficient barges are outfitted they will be brought together and connected via a USB hub to form the "Yachtascale Cluster", the purpose for such a device is unknown but they do note that such a device would be highly portable.

    Some information theorists have suggested that such a large empty storage device could be potentially dangerous, capable of causing a rift in the fabric of infospace itself and sucking in all of the content of the internet like some gigantic information black hole, we remain unconvinced by the mathematics behind this speculation.


    Halloween Hangover

    Squiffy  01 November 2013 11:41:07 - Kasteel Turing

    Great Halloween party, got in at 04:00, totally pixelated!

    Halloween Hangover


    Halloween Party

    Squiffy  31 October 2013 14:28:59 - Kasteel Turing

    OK, so guess who I am going as tonight.

    Halloween Dress